One of the first things I do every morning is make a to-do list for myself. Sometimes this is really straightforward, especially if I already have appointments booked. But other days, like today, I have a whole bunch of random stuff that needs to get prioritized. This is a struggle for me because I am much more Empress than Emperor: I like being creative and coming up with ideas and letting things grow organically. I resist creating plans and holding myself accountable.
I typically prioritize my tasks intuitively. I trust that if I focus on what feels like the right thing to do each day, I’ll keep heading in the right direction. This is all well and good when I’m spiritually solid, but sometimes anxiety creeps in and fogs my ability to make clear choices. That’s what happened this morning.
This morning the simple task of making a to-do list felt like trying to climb a mental mountain. My brain was like “I should do this, but I also need to do that, oh and there’s this other thing I really WANT to do, oh yeah and that thing I’ve been putting off for weeks now, oh and here’s a totally new idea to take into account, but is today really the day to do any of these things, or should I be doing something ELSE today?”
After grappling with this line of thinking – wait, line of thinking? Naw, more like chaotic dance of thinking. Anyway, after dealing with this for a while, I moved on to my card of the day practice. I drew the Two of Crystals (akin to the suit of pentacles) from the Nomad Tarot. I felt a sense of calm settling in when I looked at this card. As usual, tarot offered exactly what I needed. Here’s the message that came through for me today with this card:
Prioritize substance. What has the most (metaphoric) weight? As in, what is really meaningful? What is really necessary? What is really useful?
I always find these earthy, practical types of questions very soothing when my anxiety riddled brain is struggling to make sense of things. The imagery in this deck is both striking and sparse, simple yet substantial. My attention was drawn to that bottom crystal. It looks like it has more weight, and it has a more intricate pattern.
As it relates to my to-do list quandry, this card asked me to ground down into what matters most. Instead of dwelling in my head on all the many different directions I should go, this card asked me to remember what significance those directions might hold for me. Sure, there are many things I could do today…but which of those things have real, meaningful, solid weight?
This reminds me of a classic piece of advice on setting priorities. Imagine that you have a glass jar. The jar represents the time and space that exists in your life. Next to the jar, you have many rocks of varying shapes and sizes. These represent all of the things you need to do and want to do. Now, the best way to fit the rocks into the jar is to start with the biggest rocks. Of course, the biggest rocks represent the things that are the most important to you, the most essential to your well-being. The smaller rocks, representing the things that are less meaningful, can then fit in around the big rocks.
This was the reminder I needed today. My life is not about getting as much done as possible. It’s not about occupying myself with busy work or dumb tasks that I “should” do. No, no. My life is about fitting in as much meaning as possible. It’s about prioritizing the things that have weight. It’s about holding space first and foremost for what has substance. It’s not about trying to do everything – it’s about being devoted to doing what matters most.
One of the best feelings in the world is reflecting on a tarot card and finding it unlocks doors within you. If you could use some reflection and guidance, consider booking a one hour Skype reading with me. A few slots are still available for October. All the information here.